The shock was still there on the rest day of the Dakar Rally 2022, after the jump in the sixth stage where Tim Coronel seriously hurt his back. The brothers are relieved that there is no serious injury and that they can start in the seventh stage tomorrow, which heralds the second week of the Dakar.
“We were afraid that this was the end of our Dakar,” admits Tom Coronel. “Besides, it’s really terrible to see your twin brother in pain. He could barely get out of the car at the finish and breathing was difficult too.”
At the medical service, a scan was made of Tim’s back, which only revealed an old fracture, from about ten years ago in Morocco. “He now suffers from that, but it is mainly the muscles around it that hold the tension. That’s why he has constant massages last night and today, to loosen and relax those muscles. It’s getting better. He can walk again, even if it looks as if he shit his pants. The doctor said yesterday that he could dance tonight, but I don’t see that happening yet. We don’t have to, as long as we can board again tomorrow.”
The first week of the Dakar Rally 2022 went very well for the brothers. They are in seventeenth place in the standings (after a five-hour penalty for Giniel de Villiers was reversed, they dropped one spot) and are very satisfied. The ranking is not entirely unexpected, but it was not expected yet after the first week. “It’s going great,” says Tom. “But it does feel like we’ve been on the road for two weeks already, as we are so intensively involved with everything. We are constantly with the team and working on the car, so that we get to know it better and better.”
With the team, Coronel sees that the tension about the new Century has now given way to peace and confidence. “The organization is in place, everyone knows their role and the car is now also familiar. The performance benefits that confidence and vice versa. It’s going so well and we now have so much experience as a team directly behind the sub-top that I think we’re ready for a second car in the team.”